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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-21

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis says reforms to continue, as parliament passes 2008 state budget
  • [02] Christmas message by Archbishop Christodoulos
  • [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

  • [01] PM Karamanlis says reforms to continue, as parliament passes 2008 state budget

    PM Karamanlis says reforms to continue, as parliament passes 2008 state budget

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated his determination that the reforms and changes needed by the country will continue, in closing a five-day debate in parliament late Thursday night after which the 300-member House ratified the 2008 state budget.

    "We have opted for the road of action, responsibility and results, and I am determined to defend and continue on this road. The changes and reforms that are necessary will be implemented," Karamanlis said, adding that this was the "only strategy that gives solutions to misfunctions that kept the country stagnant, weak and stuck"

    "It is the only choice of policy and social responsibility, and it is non-negotiable," Karamanlis emphasised.

    The mandate given in the September 16 general elections constitutes a committment to citizens for speeding up reforms, the premier said, adding: "The mandate by the citizens is a committment and I am determined to strictly abide by it."

    At the same time, Prime Minister Karamanlis accused the main opposition PASOK party of "raising obstacles to the reforms", of "cultivating fear vis-a-vis necessary changes" and of "shamelessly rejecting dialogue, understanding on actions bearing responsibility, and even important procedures such as the revision of the Constitution".

    "Refusal of dialogue is an extreme, conservative and anti-popular stance," he warned.

    Karamanlis voiced doubt that PASOK had its own alternative developmental model: "Which one (model)? That which created the two-speed Greece, which skyrocketed unemployment and quadrupled the public sector debt, which led to fiscal deviation?," he questioned.

    PASOK, he continued, was talking about 'different policies', but questioned: "Which policies? Those we saw on the Stock Market, in Education, Health, the DEKO (public utilities and organisations), in the agricultural sector, in the plans for recovery of Olympic Airways (OA)?"

    "It is a provocation that you should speak about OA, when everyone knows the heavy and long-term responsibity you have over its course all these years," the premier said, addressing himself to the main opposition party.

    Some individuals sufficed themselves in engaging in cheap populism and well-wishes, in distorting the reality and irresponsible danger-mongering, Karamanlis said, continuing that "the events belie them".

    The premier further said that despite predictions to the contrary by the "representatives of reaction", international ecnomic organisations and also the EU have certified that the Greek economy has now acquired firm foundations, while over the past three-and-a-half years (since his ruling New Democracy party took over the government, in its first term before its September 16 re-election), direct foreign investments have nearly doubled, exports have increased spectacularly, tourism entered an upward course, and maritime was enjoying its best years.

    "We ensured the qualitative characteristics that guarantee the viability of growth," the premier stressed, adding that his government has achieved growth rates that were steadily among the highest in the eurozone, a reduction of the fiscal deficit by neary five percentage points, the country's exodus from the EU's excessive deficit procedure with mild measures, "and this is a national success, it is the collective conquest of all the Greeks, and we will not sacrifice this conquest to either party or guild expediencies".

    "We will not follow policies that mortgage the future of our country. We will not sacrifice the interest of the many in compromises with the few," Karamanlis stressed.

    [02] Christmas message by Archbishop Christodoulos

    Christmas message by Archbishop Christodoulos

    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos on Thursday issued a Christmas message.

    The ailing Archbishop expressed the need for 21st Century man to review his course, to again find his freedom and to again see the spectrum of life through the shining light of Truth, of Christ.

    On his part, Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania Anastasios referred to the phenomenon of emigration "which hurts modern life."

    He noted that emigration "culminates with immigration and of being a refugee and is extended with the isolation many people feel in the faceless social surrounding."

    Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos also issued a Christmas message in Istanbul, wishing ?a happy and peaceful Christmas and a spiritually and materially fruitful new year.

    [03] Athens Newspaper Headlines

    The Friday edition of Athens' dailies at a glance

    Former Culture Ministry secretary general Christos Zachopoulos' fall from the balcony of his fourth floor appartment in the central Athens residental district of Kolonaki, parliament's ratification of the 2008 State budget and prime minister Costas Karamanlis' declaration on Thursday in parliament that the government will procceed with "essential" social security reforms, dominated the front pages on Friday in Athens' dailies.

    ADESMEFTOS TYPOS: "What made Zachopoulos fall from his balcony?- He fell from the fourth floor and is in critical condition "

    APOGEVMATINI: "Zachopoulos in critical condition - Greeks shocked by Zachopoulos' death fall"

    AVGHI: "Karamanlis persists in conflict with society (over social security issue).- PM remained adamant in parliament."

    AVRIANI: "Two 'burning' videotapes pushed Zachopoulos to attempt suicide.- An archaelogist and a Culture Ministry employee involved in the mysterious case".

    CHORA: "Reforms and changes included in the 2008 State Budget passed on Thursday in parliament"

    ELEFTHERI ORA: "Ruling party New Democracy rejuvenated by 2008 State budget ratification".

    ELEFTHEROS: "Government adopts PASOK's model over Municipalities merger plan"

    ELEFTHEROS TYPOS: "Shock in government from Zachopoulos plunge one day after his resignation after an order from above"

    ELEFTHEROTYPIA: " Rumours and many questions surround Zachopoulos's plunge from his appartment's balcony"

    ESTIA: "Government in a tight spot - 2008 State Budget passed on Thursday in parliament".

    ETHNOS: " A tragedy with the smell of a scandal- What led Zachopoulos to a salto mortale"

    KATHIMERINI: "Unanswered questions over Zachopoulos' fall - Maximos Mansion (government headquarters) demanded his resignation".

    LOGOS: "Social security reforms include unexpected gifts - Many workers will be included in 'heavy and hazardous work' category".

    NIKI: "Shadows over the fall - Thriller with Karamanlis' close friend"

    RIZOSPASTIS: "Escalation of the struggle for social security funds and collective labour agreements".

    TA NEA: "Shadows of a scandal over Zachopoulos' attempt- Zachopoulos was close friend and associate of prime minister".

    TO VIMA: "Sex, money and videotapes - Why Zachopoulos jumped from his balcony- Government shocked".

    VRADYNI: "Death jump with lot's of why's- Zachopoulos attempted suicide 24 hours after his resignation from his position".


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